The Tommy Fleetwood along with Spanish Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm of england are three strokes off leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera at the World Tour Championship at Dubai.
The four-under 68 of fleetwood included seven birdies and three bogeys.
Before his lead was trimmed, frances world number 96 Lorenzo-Vera, who began the day of Rory McIlroy, was seven shots ahead at one stage.
Northern Irelands McIlroy slipped following a two-over round that not recovered from a double bogey .
It contrasted on Thursday with his attempts when he carded an eight-under 64.
Its a really twisted match, McIlroy said. Thats golf. I battled through it.
I am still in with a shout to have a go at winning this tournament. Just need to stick the head down over the weekend and then get out there and attempt to shoot a few great scores.
Both Rahm and Fleetwood will be crowned as Race to Dubai champion should they procure solo second place before another, provided Austrias Bernd Wiesberger, now 13th, doesnt climb to the top reaches of the leaderboard.
There are a lot of things going on around you, therefore the more internally focused you can be and the longer youre able to just stay on your bubble… it will just be a wonderful challenge entering the weekend hoping to do that, said Fleetwood.
34, frenchman Lorenzo-Vera, is currently pursuing his careers very first European Tour title.
I missed a few shots in the end and left a three-putt about the last, he said.
It is just the game. Ive got a three-shot lead plus it [being] three shots behind. Its just likely to be stressful as there are big dogs that are going to attempt to bite me, so it is going to be interesting.